Hilex Poly Co., an industry leading US manufacturer and recycler of plastic bags, received the 2013 Society of Plastics Engineers Environmental Division's Award for Plastics Recycling Technologies and Applications. The award, presented at the annual Global Plastics Environmental Conference in New Orleans, LA, recognizes innovations in plastics recycling solutions and overall commitment to sustainability.

Hilex Poly received the award for its innovative "Bag-2-Bag" recycling program, which allows millions of consumers and retail employees to easily recycle plastic bags, sacks and wraps at grocery stores and retailers. Once collected, the bags are recycled into new bags, reducing the need for virgin material.

"We are honored to be recognized for our joint commitment to plastics and sustainability innovation," says Mike Sullivan, director of new product development at Hilex Poly, who received the award. "At Hilex Poly, our innovative Bag-2-Bag program is a collaborative effort with our customers and reinforces our responsibility and dedication to the environment."

With more than 30,000 collection points distributed across the country at in-store collection bins, Hilex Poly collects plastic bags, sacks and wraps – including dry cleaning bags, water bottle overwraps and newspaper bags – which are then gathered into bales and transported to the company's state of the art recycling center in North Vernon, IN, Hilex Poly also partners with other companies to purchase used plastic bags and film packaging for recycling. These materials are then recycled into new, sanitary, recyclable plastic bags. Recycled plastic bags and packaging films can be recycled into many products, including backyard decking, piping and playground equipment.

Hilex Poly invested more than $25 million in its recycling center, which recycled in excess of 20 million lbs of bags, sacks and wraps in 2012. Compared to conventional bags, the "Bag-2-Bag" bags made of recycled content require 20% less energy to produce, lower carbon emissions by 11%, divert millions of pounds from landfills each year, and provide sustainability conscious consumers a closed-loop carryout package.